Dan Fister for KY State Representative

Platform

1. Economic Development and Job Creation. The 56th District is in need of economic development and job creation throughout the entire District. Our local businesses are suffering because our residents are leaving the district for work, and we don’t have jobs to keep our children in the community if they want to stay. Creating a diverse mix of jobs that pay a better than average wage will benefit our residents and provide an increase in much-needed local customers for our existing businesses. Diversification and broadening the base of our local economy will make us less vulnerable to economic swings and it will allow us to grow our tax base rather than growing our tax rates.

2. Listen to YOU. Career politicians at all levels of government have always done a great job of telling me what issues are affecting me and what will make my life better. The problem is they are usually wrong. They don’t understand the problems being discussed at our kitchen tables and don’t seem to care. I want to know what is affecting YOU and help you find real solutions. It’s time we address our problems and stop ignoring them.

3. Bring some “common sense” to State Government. Just like at home, government cannot continue to borrow money to pay its bills. Cutting waste and paying our debts is being fiscally responsible to the tax payers of Kentucky. We simply cannot maintain the out-of-control mismanagement of our state finances and expect our children to have a future. Frankfort must live within its means.

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During the current COVID19 crisis, I want to put aside politics and inform you of how to seek assistance while we weather this storm together. Please stay safe, heathy, and if you need anything - reach out to my website or give me a call. God bless you. #fister56 ... See MoreSee Less

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I think it’s sad that our Governor has seen fit to veto legislation that will help to insure that our elections are conducted honestly and fairly. I think it says a lot about his underlying character. Overriding this veto is the right thing to do and I ask my legislators in the House and Senate to stand on principle and not on party and vote to override this veto. #fister56 ... See MoreSee Less

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CONTACT:
Laura Leigh Goins
Deputy Chief of Staff for Media
Office of the Speaker
(502) 564-8100 phone
(502) 682-6718 cell


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA ADVISORY


Kentucky General Assembly passes “bare bones” budget in anticipation of COVID-19 impact on state revenue

Frankfort, Kentucky (April 1, 2020) – Members of the Kentucky House and Senate met in Frankfort today to approve a one-year executive branch budget that guides the state’s spending for the fiscal year beginning on July 1. The spending plan includes $11.4 billion in funding for state agencies and programs, including public education, Medicaid, and programs currently engaged in mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

The budget, crafted as a substitute to HB 352, is a departure from the version approved by the House prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. The House version included funding increases for education, additional social worker positions, and raises for school and state employees.

House Appropriations and Revenue Chair Steven Rudy shared that the version approved today reflects early estimates of how the pandemic will impact the state’s economy and revenue collections. However, while the state expects a major decrease in revenue, Rudy stressed that it is still to early to know exactly how bad it could be.

“We were extremely pleased with the budget we sent to the Senate and the record investment made in education. But the world has changed and we have no way to know how far this recession is going to go, how deep it will truly be, and what it will mean to the coffers here in Frankfort,” Rudy said.

The approved version of HB 352 keeps funding flat for many areas of state government, including the $4,000 per pupil allocation for Kentucky’s public schools. The House had increased per pupil spending – referred to as SEEK funding - to record levels in its original version. Also removed from the House plan was funding for additional social worker positions, as well as pay increases for teachers, school and state employees.

“We are obviously disappointed at these changes. Per pupil funding has been a priority for us from the beginning. In fact, the 2018 budget - the first crafted by this Majority – included a record level of per pupil, or SEEK, funding and was the first budget in decades to fully fund the teacher pension system,” House Speaker David Osborne said.

Osborne added that legislators worked with limited resources in January but were able to produce a budget that served the state’s needs while being accountable to taxpayers.

“We were able to invest every dollar of our budget in areas that could move this state forward. We applied the same philosophy we have since becoming the majority and for good reason, our policies were working. Until now, we have enjoyed record low unemployment and historic investments in business growth from both in-state and out-of-state companies,” Osborne added. “We’re going to work with what we have, but make no mistake, while our short term priorities have changed, our long erm commitment to Kentucky and its people remains the same.”

According to Rudy, the budget does fully fund the actuarially required contributions to the Kentucky Retirement System and the Kentucky Teacher’s Retirement System and fully funds teacher health insurance. It also continues the freeze on pension contribution rates for quasi-governmental agencies, which include regional universities, local health departments, and domestic violence shelters across the state.

To conduct legislative business, the House implemented a remote voting procedure. This process allowed House members to transmit that vote to designated members who would record it formally with the House Clerk. This change is in addition to steps taken in early March as public health officials began warning about the spread of COVID-19. Doing so limited the number of individuals on the House Floor at the same time while still ensuring that members can cast votes on behalf of their constituents. While a legislative first, these actions reflect House Majority Leadership’s intent to preserve each district’s right to participate in the budget process.

In addition to the executive branch budget, legislators also approved an updated version of the judicial branch budget, transportation road plan, and transportation cabinet budget. All bills will be sent to Governor Andy Beshear for his consideration. The Governor has ten days to consider any vetoes he may wish to make, and legislators are scheduled to return to Frankfort to override vetoes and finish business on April 13.

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